Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2022-291
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2022-291
10 May 2022
 | 10 May 2022

Climate Response to Severe Forestation: A Regional Climate Model Intercomparison Study

Olivier Asselin, Martin Leduc, Dominique Paquin, Katja Winger, Alejandro Di Luca, Melissa Bukovsky, Biljana Music, and Michel Giguère

Abstract. The biogeophysical effects of severe forestation are quantified using a new ensemble of regional climate simulations over North America and Europe. Following the protocol outlined for the Land-Use and Climate Across Scales (LUCAS) intercomparison project, two sets of simulations are compared, FOREST and GRASS, which respectively represent worlds where all vegetation is replaced by trees and grasses. Three regional regional models were run over North America. One of them, the Canadian Regional Climate Model (CRCM5), was also run over Europe in an attempt to bridge results with the original LUCAS ensemble, which was confined to Europe. Overall, the CRCM5 response to forestation reveals strong inter-continental similarities, including a pronounced wintertime and springtime warming concentrated over snow-masking evergreen forests. Crucially, these northern evergreen needleleaf forests populate lower, hence sunnier latitudes in North America. Snow masking reduces albedo similarly over both continents, but stronger insolation amplifies the net shortwave radiation and hence warming simulated over North America. In the summertime, CRCM5 produces a mixed forestation response, with warming over northern needleleaf forests and cooling over southern broadleaf forests. The partitioning of the turbulent heat fluxes plays a major role in determining this response, but it is not robust across models over North America. Implications for the inter-continental transferability of the original LUCAS results are discussed.

Olivier Asselin et al.

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-291', Anonymous Referee #1, 25 May 2022
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Olivier Asselin, 07 Jul 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-291', Anonymous Referee #2, 09 Jun 2022
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Olivier Asselin, 07 Jul 2022

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-291', Anonymous Referee #1, 25 May 2022
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Olivier Asselin, 07 Jul 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-291', Anonymous Referee #2, 09 Jun 2022
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Olivier Asselin, 07 Jul 2022

Olivier Asselin et al.

Olivier Asselin et al.

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Latest update: 08 Dec 2023
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Short summary
Planting trees cools the climate by removing CO2 from the atmosphere, but may also cool or warm the climate by altering the albedo, roughness and evapotranspiration efficiency of the surface. To quantify these biogeophysical effects, we ran regional climate models over two idealized worlds, FOREST and GRASS, respectively representing maximum and minimum tree cover over North America and Europe. We find that these effects must be taken into account to successfully mitigate climate change.